5 Biggest Questions PATFO Have to Ask This Offseason--#3

Question #3—Find the good # for Patty to stay a Spur

Over the last several years the connections to the great Spurs years with the Big 3 still on the bench have grown fewer on fewer as more and more players from those teams retire or move on and assistant coaches from those teams move on to better positions in other organizations. The last remaining player from that group still with the Spurs is Patty Mills. Question #3 for PATFO is what the number that works for both the Spurs and Patty that allows Patty to remain a Spur.

The obvious main factor to me in the desire to keep Patty around is how he has become the spirit of the Spurs. The juice that Patty brings on a daily basis is almost always palpable the moment he steps on the court. Patty brings a contagious energy and a desire every night and one that is also shown in practice and film work as evidenced by countless interviews from PATFO and his teammates. Obviously in a numbers oriented world stat heads would give little attention to this spirit as compared to on court numbers and production but PATFO have always cared deeply about the culture and spirit of the organization and Patty continues to carry this torch for the Spurs

On the court Patty has been able to evolve over the years to become a bigger asset for the Spurs. According to RAPTOR ratings Patty had his best defensive year last year since his the ’15-’16 campaign and has better that figure so far this year. On the offensive end Patty had his best season since the ’13-’14 championship year as well as his best overall season since that same year. So far this year Patty continues to be very positive offensive player while also continuing to be a positive on defense. So when considering a numbers perspective Patty is clearly still contributing positively towards the Spurs winning games.

Patty also brings on element to the offense that this current Spurs addition does not truly have outside of him and would have to pay considerably on the market to replace and that is his shooting. Right now I think we can all agree Patty is the best shooter the Spurs have offensively with his ability shoot on the move, off the catch and off the dribble. Derrick White showed in the bubble he is moving towards a much more reliable shooting threat, Dejounte has continued to put in countless hours to become a better shooter from all over the floor, DeMar is starting to at least attempt more 3’s and Devin shows tons of promise but Patty Mills still remains the Spurs biggest threat from deep. Shooting is on skill that stays with the player the longest and will allow Patty to continue to be a positive offensive player even as his athletiscm starts to decline.

So what may be a good number for Patty and the Spurs to come too? In looking at 10 similar comps to Patty we can get at least a ball park area to draw from. Those 10 comps for me were split up between 5 point guards and 5 shooting guards and were as followed (age in parentheses): Lou Williams (33), Seth Curry (30), Norman Powell (27), JJ Reddick (36), Danny Green (33), Patrick Beverly (32), Jordan Clarkson (28), George Hill (34), Derrick Rose (31) and Tyus Jones (24). These 10 were picked based off bringing at least similar attribute to their teams as Patty be it scoring off the bench, being the spirit of their team, shooting ability or leadership characteristics. The average annual salary for this 10 players is about 10.6 million dollars. Patty is coming off a 4 year contract that paid him 12 million annually (13.5 this season). As with the Spurs of old it would be awesome if Patty and PATFO could come to terms that allowed the Spurs to have money left over to fill out their bench and stay out of the luxury tax next year and in subsequent years. In saying that I would be completely happy with 3/36 contract. This contract would average 12 million per season (slightly above the 10 comps) and keep Patty in San Antonio through his age 35 season. In looking at future seasons I think it would help the Spurs the most to start year 1 out at 12.9 and descend by 8% over the next 3 years but would not shy away from a straight 12 million each season.

Patty has been the heartbeat of the Spurs since The Big 3 retired and I think big questions #3 for the Spurs this offseason is figuring out what number works for both them and Patty to allow him to continue playing and leading this Spurs team.

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